Meeting with Housing Minister

Meeting with Housing Minister
4th December 2018

Since becoming an MP back in 2010, I have been a vocal supporter of the idea of ‘Localism’ – and giving local communities more of a say in how they grow and develop over the years to come.

Rural constituencies such as Mid Norfolk are facing unprecedented pressure from aggressive ‘out of town’ developers intent on dumping large scale housing estates on the outskirts of our towns and villages with unsustainable pressure on infrastructure and local public services.

It’s clear that the Five Year Land Supply Rule (which was designed to prevent ‘Nimby’ Councils from ignoring the housing requirements in their own Local Plans) is being exploited by speculative developers to railroad inappropriate development through, against the wishes of local councils and communities, and to the detriment of sustainable planning, and trust in the planning system.

That’s why I, as I promised my electorate at the last Election, have been actively campaigning for reform of the NPPF to give real power back to communities and their elected councillors.  

Earlier this year, I secured a Parliamentary debate to highlight the need for reform to help support Town and Village Plans (to read more, click here) and, in June, a number of MPs and I met with the Prime Minister to discuss the planning challenges being faced in rural communities – and, specifically, the need to reform the Five Year Land Supply and strengthen the power of Neighbourhood Plans. I also spoke at a subsequent debate focusing on the Five Year Land Supply (to read more, click here) and wrote in Politics Home (see here) to strengthen the case for reform.

Yesterday, as part of this continuing campaign, I convened a meeting with the Housing and Planning Minister Kit Malthouse MP, the Leader of and Executive Member for Growth at Breckland Council, and the Chairman and Clerk of Swanton Morley Parish Council, to make the case for reforms to the NPPF to enhance the powers of Neighbourhood Plans and Local Plans to provide for the needs of local communities.

The Minister engaged in an open and productive discussion and I am pleased to report that he has agreed to come back to me with responses to some of the individual queries raised by us.

Rest assured, I shall continue to pursue this campaign over the coming weeks and months – and I look forward to providing further updates in the not too distant future.

Photo: From left to right: Cllr Gordon Bambridge (Executive Member for Growth for Breckland District Council, District Councillor for Upper Wensum Ward), Faye Lebon (Clerk to Swanton Morley Parish Council), Roger Atterwill (Chairman of Swanton Morley Parish Council), Cllr William Nunn (Leader of Breckland District Council, District Councillor for Forest Ward), Kit Malthouse MP (Minister of State for Housing, MP for North West Hampshire), George Freeman MP (MP for Mid Norfolk)



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